Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the best places to see and appreciate nature in all its glory. Dramatic coastlines, sweeping barrens, thick boreal forests, ancient rock formations, teeming seabird colonies, tiny alpine blossoms, and rich marine life are all part of our diverse natural heritage. From the island's rugged south coast and maritime barrens, through the islands of Witless Bay and Baccalieu and the Tablelands of Gros Morne National Park, to the Torngat Mountain ranges and the sub-Arctic tundra of northern Labrador, the natural, wild beauty of this place surrounds you at every turn - largely untouched and unspoiled.
The province is also home to three National Parks, 18 Wilderness and Ecological Reserves, and breathtaking botanical gardens. Luckily, this place has no ragweed (allergy sufferers rejoice!), no snakes, no skunks, no raccoons, and no poisonous insects or arachnids.
Whales, Birds and Icebergs
With 29,000 kilometres of coastline, it's not hard to spot plenty of whales, seabirds, and icebergs. There are 22 species of whales alone, including the world's largest migrating population of humpbacks. Flying high above are, give or take, 35 million seabirds, which is why Newfoundland and Labrador is aptly named the seabird capital of North America. And if iceberg watching is something on your list, Iceberg Alley is the best on the continent to see these 10,000-year-old frosty giants.
There's no shortage of wildlife in Newfoundland and Labrador (and you can enjoy it pretty much everywhere, without admission prices, feeding times, or fences to keep the nature in). The pristine landscape and abundance of large and small game make for incredible sightseeing, by car or hike.
There are more than 120,000 moose and the population density in Gros Morne National Park is one of the highest in North America (so be cautious driving, especially at dusk or dawn). It's also home to one of the world's largest caribou herds and some of the continent's biggest black bears.
Visit a spectacular salmon ladder where migrating Atlantic salmon return to their spawning grounds on the Exploits River at the Salmonid Interpretation Centre, one of the most impressive salmon enhancement projects in North America.
Our provincial flower – the pitcher plant – can be found, among other wildflowers like rare orchids and plants, in bogs and marshland. Burnt Cape Ecological reserve on the Great Northern Peninsula is home to unique and rare flora along a coastline with fantastic limestone topography which has been eroded by water. It's also the only place in the world where the Burnt Cape Cinquefoil grows, along with the threatened Fernald's Braya.
But of all the wonderful surprises our landscape holds, the most delightful just might be our sweet, fresh berries. Try a handful of blueberries, partridgeberries, blackberries or crowberries. Bakeapples, also called cloudberries, are a local favourite. You'll find these unique, flavourful berries in everything from jams and jellies to tarts and pies. They're not only delicious but also plentiful, particularly in the fall of the year when you'll see berry pickers scattered along highways and country roads. In the summer, visit a U-Pick for a hand-selected pint of berry goodness, or ask a resident berry picker to reveal their favourite patch.